Benteke a key player at Aston Villa, claims former defender Laursen

The former Denmark international feels the 22-year-old is at the heart of everything Paul Lambert's side have done well this season and hopes he can continue his fine form
Former Aston Villa defender Martin Laursen believes striker Christian Benteke has already become the club’s most important player.

The Belgian scored twice in Villa’s 3-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield last Saturday, adding to a number of impressive performances this season.

Laursen feels Benteke is at the heart of everything that the Villans are doing well this term and hopes he can continue his excellent run of recent form.

He told the club’s official website: "Christian Benteke is already a key player for Villa. If he plays well, Villa play well.

"He was brilliant at Anfield and I'm hoping for more of the same from him at Stamford Bridge. I think he's great.

"I have already talked a lot about him whenever I've been asked about Villa in my media work.

"He is so, so strong, he works his socks off, he's a part of everything Villa does.

"He's the focal point of the team. He's involved in throw-ins, corner-kicks, everything really. He is very, very important."

The former Denmark international is pleased the Villa fans have taken to the 22-year-old quickly and thinks their attitude towards him is just reward for his performances on the pitch.
10/1 Christian Benteke is 10/1 with PaddyPower to score first when Villa play Chelsea on Sunday

"I know the fans love him," Laursen added. "They have really taken to him and he'll love that respect from the crowd. It's an amazing feeling - I know all about it!

"I know what it's like to be a favourite with the fans. He has it now. It's a massive honour and you feel so proud.

"You know that you have done something good when they sing your name. You can sense that they are happy with you and what you're doing for the team.

"You want to continue doing well for them - you want to hear them shouting your name all the time, in every game and many times during the game!"